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and a general gaol-delivery was made.1 But the ordinary justice of the country was administered in the local courts; every baron judged his own tenants; and the hundred and county courts decided cases between men on different estates. In these courts something of the old principle was retained, though tempered with feudalism. The earl, sheriff, and baron were presidents rather than judges, in the modern sense. The court was made up of the higher tenants of the districts; every freeman had a right to be tried by his peers, and to challenge any man in the court whom he suspected of private enmity. The misfortune lay in the numerous exceptions to these principles. In courts held by a royal commissioner, the county had probably no voice. Tenants-in-chief could claim to have their differences settled in the national court, presided over by their suzerain. How far the clergy were amenable to the ordinary tribunals, was a question; Anglo-Saxon and Norman theories were at variance. But a terribly-vague rule was framed, apparently as a compromise, that no lay evidence should be admissible against priests, except from men whose high moral character would entitle them to take orders. It was partly, perhaps, in the same spirit, partly in order to balance the oppressive power of the nobles, that the bishops were exhorted to resume their attendance at the county courts. It does not seem that they complied. The whole tendency of the times was to separate church and state, and any assumption of lay functions by the clergy, however blameless its purpose, excused the abuses of feudal tenures and service in the field by men whose kingdom was properly not of this world.

1 Thus in the story of Bricstan, a Saxon money-lender, who wished to turn monk, and was instantly arrested on suspicion of concealing treasure-trove, Robert Malart, "who had absolutely no business except to lay informations," was probably sheriff of the county. Bricstan was left at large on bail, till Raoul Bassett came down to hold the assize; and was then imprisoned on suspicion, till a miracle, wrought by St. Benedict for his deliverance, on the model of that at Philippi, melted the grand justiciary to tears, and procured Bricstan's deliverance.-Orderic, vol. iii., pp. 123-131.

2 Leges Hen. Imi, xxxi., 6, 7; A. S. Laws, vol. i., p. 534.

3 Leges Hen. Imi, v. 9; A. S. Laws, vol. i., p. 507.

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Henry's marvellous prosperity was darkened by one great loss. His only legitimate son, William, had already received the barons' oaths of homage as their future king, when he accompanied Henry on a visit to Normandy (1120 A.D.) When they were about to return by the port of Barfleur, a Norman captain, Thomas Fitz-Stephen, appeared and claimed the right of taking them in his ship, on the ground that his father had been captain of the "Mora," in which the conqueror crossed to invade England. The king did not care to alter his own arrangements, but agreed that his son should sail in the "Blanche Nef" with Fitz-Stephen. Prince William was

accompanied by a large train of unruly courtiers; they amused themselves by making the sailors drink hard before they started; and dismissed the priests who came to bless the voyage with a chorus of scoffing laughter. It was evening before they left the shore, and there was no moon; a few of the more prudent quitted the ship, but there remained nearly three hundred-a dangerous freight for a small vessel. However, fifty rowers flushed with wine made good way in the waters; but the helmsman was less fit for his work, and the vessel struck suddenly on a sunk rock, the Raz de Catteville. The water rushed in, but there was time to lower a boat, which put off with the prince. When in safety, he heard the cries of his sister, the countess of Perche, and returned to save her. A crowd of desperate men leaped into the boat; it was swamped, and all perished. As the ship settled down, all but three of those on board were washed away. One of these, Fitz-Stephen, drowned himself when he learned that the prince was lost; one perished from cold; the third, a common sailor, was kept warm by his thick sheep-skin dress, and survived to tell the tale. It was a fresh horror of this tragedy that scarcely any bodies were found to receive Christian burial. For more

Orderic gives a poetical description of the moon shedding its light on the waters. But M. le Prevost states that Nov. 25, 1120 A.D., was "jour très voisin de la nouvelle lune et dans lequel elle resta par conséquent invisible pendant presque toute la nuit."-Orderic, vol. iv., p. 414.



than a day no man dared to tell the king of his loss; at last a page was sent weeping to his feet. Three of Henry's children, but above all the heir of all his hopes, for whom he had plotted and shed blood, were taken from him at a blow. that from that hour he was never known to smile.

It is said

Thenceforward the king's state-craft had the one object of securing England to his daughter Matilda. She had been married in 1114 A.D. to the emperor Henry V. of Germany, but returned in 1126 A.D. to her father's court, a widow and childless. Henry held a council of his barons, and invited them to do homage to the descendant of Cerdic and William the conqueror as presumptive-heir to England. The barons unanimously acquiesced, and Henry's nephew Stephen, earl of Boulogne, was among the first to swear. It was afterwards said that Henry let it be understood he would not give his daughter again in marriage without the advice and consent of his lords.1 That engagement was violated by her union next year with Geoffrey of Anjou. Geoffrey's family and personal character were unpopular; he had no higher claim than many Normans to marry into a royal house; and there was a strong provincial feeling against Frenchmen, which was heightened by the fact that the English kings had begun to adopt the policy of advancing foreigners to state offices and bishoprics. But no man dared to remonstrate, and rejoicings for the wedding were ordered, under penalty for the contumacious. A doubtful account states that the barons in 1132 A.D. did homage to the eldest son by Matilda's marriage, Prince Henry. But this second oath, if it was ever imposed, can only have been taken by a few. Three years after the birth of his heir, (December 1st, 1135 A.D.) Henry died of an acute fever, brought on by a surfeit of lampreys. On his death-bed, in the presence of his lords, he renewed the bequest of England and Normandy to his daughter, omitting all men


1 Malmesbury, Hist. Nov., lib. i., p. 693.

Thierry, Conquête d'Angleterre, tom. ii., p. 373.

3 The only authority for it is Roger of Wendover (vol. ii., p. 213), and the reasons which Malmesbury assigns to justify the nobles in breaking their oath to Matilda, would not apply if there had been a second oath to her son.

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tion of her husband, with whom he had quarrelled. The devotion of his last moments edified the bystanders.1 He directed that the enormous sums in his treasury, accumulated from heavy taxes and the confiscated property of intestates and rich bishops, should be spent in the payment of his debts and in alms to the poor. The men who broke their solemn oath of allegiance, had little scruple about setting aside the unprincipled profusion of a dead king who hoped to redeem his soul with the plunder of his people.

1 See the archbishop of Rouen's letter, Malmesbury, Hist. Nov., lib. i., p. 702.

2 His seizure of the king of Norway's property has been described. When Gilbert, bishop of London, died, his wealth was seized; and his boots, filled with gold and silver, were carried to the exchequer.-Ang. Sac., vol. ii., p. 698. There are doubtless other instances which have not come down to us.



DURING the reigns of William Rufus and his brother, a great battle was fought between church and state, which powerfully influenced their relations in after time. The hero of this struggle was Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury. Born 1033 A.D., the son of a Lombard father who had settled near Aosta in Piedmont, Anselm showed his devotional tendencies from a boy; his dreams were of heaven, which hung, as he thought, on his native mountain tops, and he prayed to be stricken by illness that his father might allow him to enter a monastery. As he grew in years, the fervour of his first zeal was exchanged for a natural love of knightly exercises, and the memory of his dead mother's piety was the one restraining influence of his life. But the harshness of his father, who had taken a strong dislike to him, determined him to renounce his inheritance, and seek his fortunes abroad. After nearly three years' stay in France, during which his old love of study had revived, he determined to visit Bec and put himself under Lanfranc's teaching. The austere ascetic life which he led as a student, was so little removed from the conventual, that he soon determined to put on the habit, and give his life a higher purpose than the mere occupation of the mind. For a time, indeed, he had doubted if it would not be better to return to Piedmont and live quietly as a country gentleman, promoting the good of his tenantry. Lanfranc and the archbishop of Rouen persuaded him to be

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